First Congregational Church
(United Church of Christ)
Rev. Toby Jones, Pastor

101 State Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720

Weekly Newsletter- March 04, 2021

First Congregational U.C.C. Charlevoix
March 04, 2021


Join us for either in-person or virtual worship each Sunday at 10:30 am
Click Here for Online Worship and the Digital Bulletin!

A Message from Toby…

When Grief Gets Put on Hold…

                 I received a call this week from a local reporter doing an article on how funerals were being handled during this Covid-19 pandemic. All of us have seen the gut-wrenching stories on the news of families who haven’t even been able to say goodbye to their loved ones as they die in nursing homes, hospitals, and other facilities. But even once the passing occurs, the families are still stuck in an emotional purgatory, because they can’t hold a funeral due to indoor gathering restrictions and social distancing protocols.
                Just today, as I write this, Bob Dominic’s brother Mike passed away. I’m grateful that Bob did get to be with Mike over at American House, keeping vigil with him in his final days and hours. I imagine that Bob and his family, like so many others, we’ll have to wait until summer to take that important step of honoring Mike’s life with some sort of gathering.
               I performed one funeral a few weeks back in a funeral home with four or five family members spread out across a sterile mortuary room with the open casket against a wall. It felt so hollow and tragic. Part of what makes funerals “work” for us all is the gathered community, the fact that loved ones, family, friends, neighbors, and even folks from out of town come and surround the bereaved. When all that is taken away, it almost feels like death does get the last word.
               As this confounding pandemic drags on, it is incredibly important that we find ways to come alongside those who have lost loved ones and are having to hold their grief in isolation for such extended periods of time. In the meantime, I offer this powerful lament from the 13th Psalm, so that those going through the grief of loss will at least have some words to give voice to their suffering…

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
  How long will you hide your face from me?
  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and
         every day hold sorrow in my heart?”

A Message from the Moderator…


As we saw yesterday, the Governor has updated the status of restrictions in the state.  Due to the late implementation date, we will not make any changes in the way we allow people to attend Services this Sunday.

Toby, Dr. Wadland & I will meet next week to see about adjusting the seating in the sanctuary.

-Bill Trubilowicz 

In-Person Worship Service- March 07, 2021

  Sunday, March 07, 2021, we will be holding ONE in-person service at 10:30 am with services also being live-streamed

Google RSVP Form- Click Here 

*Google RSVP is only required if you plan to attend in-person worship. Please do not submit a form if you plan to watch from home. Thank you! 

Sunday, March 07, 2021, we will be holding ONE in-person service at 10:30 am

*Seating in the Sanctuary is VERY limited and handled on a FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVE BASIS. Once the Sanctuary reaches capacity, you will be directed to the Fellowship Hall, as space allows.

We cannot take reservations specifically for Sanctuary seating. The best way to guarantee a seat in the Sanctuary is to RSVP online and to arrive early to church on Sunday.

Those who arrive without an RSVP on file will be directed to overflow seating in the Fellowship Hall EVEN IF SPACE IS STILL AVAILABLE IN THE SANCTUARY. 

Seat cushions and bibles have been removed from the pews in the sanctuary, If you need a padded seat or a bible, please bring your own.

Social distancing is required and there will be markers on the carpet in the Fellowship Hall and also in the pews for individual groups. Don’t forget your mask!

Digital Worship bulletins are available as there will only be a limited number of printed copies on hand.

Should you require the use of the elevator to access the building, the office should be notified prior to Sunday and during regular office hours.

Remember that our overall goal is to provide a safe environment for our church family to be able to worship together on Sunday morning. The following practices are still in effect:
-RSVP for contact tracing purposes
-Enter through the Park Avenue doors
-Fill the Sanctuary seats first
-Could be cool in the building
-Masks are required in the building
-Use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing
-One person in the bathroom at a time
-Exit the building at the end of the service
-Nursery is closed

If you have questions, please contact the church office at or 231-547-9122
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. The church voicemail and email are not monitored over the weekend.

If you would prefer to join us from home, our Sunday service will be recorded and live-streamed at 10:30 am. 
Virtual Worship- Click Here



Easter Gala Garden


This year on Easter Sunday (April 4) we are planning a colorful display of spring flowers to decorate the altar in celebration of Easter.

These potted plants will be a variety of tulips, hyacinths, lilies, hydrangeas, azaleas, and others.  There will be 3 sizes, $15, $25, $35 each. Not all plants will be available in 3 sizes.  We will simply order a colorful variety.

A signup sheet will be available soon in our bulletin, the weekly newsletter, and in the church office. You will be able to return your form with payment up until Wednesday, March 24

You can designate a plant “In Honor of” or “In Memory of”.  You may also indicate if you will take a plant home with you after church or would be willing to donate a plant to our shut-ins.

I will need people after church on Easter willing to make deliveries to shut-ins.

-Marty Trubilowicz



Each week we will be featuring a new local restaurant that needs our support. Restaurants have been among the hardest-hit industries of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Let’s help our friends and neighbors during this difficult time by ordering take-out, donating to servers and employees who rely on tips, or buying gift cards for future use or as gifts for others. Together we can make a difference for those who have always been there for us with a hot meal, friendly service, and a warm smile!  

This Week’s Restaurant Of The Week Is:

Flap Jack Family Restaurant 

102 W Carpenter St.
Charlevoix, MI 49720